MGI Tipster – Volume 10 Issue 3

March 16, 2011   |   Vol. 10   |   Issue 3
The best of the Marketing General blogs
Blogs have become a widely accepted information source that promotes interactive discussions among multiple authors. We thought our MGITipster readers might appreciate knowing more about the MGI blog so we have selected a sampling of topics with links to the full posting. In coming MGITipster issues we will regularly feature a blog link we hope you will find useful.

Tony Rossell
Tony Rossell,
Sr. Vice President
Erik Schonher
Erik Schonher,
Vice President

Senior Vice President Tony Rossell and Vice President Erik Schonher are MGI’s two most active bloggers. They post on their own sites as well as contribute to the blog on the MGI website—

Tony Rossell is a 25-year veteran of Marketing General, a prolific author and speaker, and an acknowledged expert on almost every aspect of membership development and direct marketing.
Erik Schonher is an experienced entrepreneur, strategic planner and tactician, and has a strong background in direct marketing, media placement, branding, creative design, and E-marketing.

So much information passes by us that it is easy to miss important ideas. Here are highlights of several top posts on the MGI blog over the past year. Choose a topic, click on the underlined words, and you should link to the full article on the Marketing General website.
1. Membership Marketing Calculations and Formulas — With several easy to understand mathematical formulas, you can calculate many of the most important bellwethers about how your membership is faring.

For example, an organization’s Renewal Rate requires knowing just three numbers. The Average Tenure of members reveals how long a new member can be expected to stay. Lifetime Value (LTV) calculates how much dues and non-dues revenue an organization can expect from members over the course of their tenure. Maximum Acquisition Cost (MAC) figures the size an organization can expect to grow or shrink based on the trends revealed by the renewal rate.

2. Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report Summary — Read this blog to discover the top ten findings from the 2010 research into benchmarking practices as reported from a survey of more than 400 association representatives.

Association executives were asked how they define success, and we also learned there are marked differences in association member growth based on the organization’s objectives. Direct mail is still the workhorse for new member acquisition for larger organizations. We also heard concerns from association executives about the effectiveness of social media as a recruitment tool.

3. The Most Overlooked Opportunity in Marketing — See how to double and even triple the returns for your promotions by establishing a marketing test program. This in-depth blog post reveals the tests direct marketers use and their potential impact on response.

This blog post also examines the art and science of testing and how the two complement one another. The ability to track responses is critical to measure the performance of membership marketing approaches and to create an historic record of how each tested element responded.

4. Seven Tips to Improve Your Membership Recruitment Efforts — Check your current membership recruitment practices against these tips to help maximize returns.

This thorough and practical blog posting of key pointers is also a valuable checklist to make certain that marketing managers know the proper questions to answer. For example, consider building a promotion strategy around a metaphor. It succeeds because it anchors benefits in commonly shared ideas and provides continuity to the marketing theme.

5. A Membership Diagnostic Tool — Find out how to predict where member counts are headed by conducting a fast and easy steady state analysis.

This snapshot of an association’s status today helps find out where its membership is headed tomorrow. Association leaders are often surprised to discover that what they thought was a healthy growth trend line is in fact a path to declining membership and eventual stagnation. This sort of information can head off disaster and set associations on the path to recovery and growth.

6. Reasons for Online Marketing — This blog post by Erik Schonher helps readers understand the growing opportunities that online marketing is making available to help prospective members discover and join an organization. Online marketing opens a door to a wide new world of marketing opportunities but it also requires marketers to act as students who are willing to explore a medium that is rich in possibilities.
7. Building Your 2011 Marketing Plan — Define the who, what, how, and why for developing a more focused and effective marketing plan. This blog post examines how marketers can segment prospects to improve response and discover which offers and messages are most appropriate.

Building a plan is sometimes an important lesson in patience but it can save a lot of time and money in the long run.

8. Improving Your Membership Marketing Playbook by Testing Offers — Take advantage of one of the best strategies to increase response by testing a special offer in membership recruitments and renewals. This helpful blog post reviews eleven offers ranging from membership and product discounts to installment payments.

This article also presents rankings of offer effectiveness and helps put their applications into context.

We hope these summaries of the full length blog posts available on the Marketing General website are informative and that you’ll make it a habit to check the blogs on the MGI website.

If you would like to learn more about any of these topics and how they can help your organization grow, telephone Tony Rossell at 703-706-0360 or email him at

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